Ex-US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia: ‘This Is the Worst Moment in US-Saudi Relations Since 9/11’


Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan said on MSNBC today, “I think this is the worst moment in U.S./Saudi relations since 9/11.”

The discussion, of course, centered around the disappearance and likely murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and the most recent reporting reveals there is possible audio and video showing he was killed in the consulate.

Jordan elaborated on his comments today to Nicolle Wallace:

“I arrived in Saudi Arabia as ambassador a month after 9/11, and the question then was are the Saudis friend or foe? I think we’ve got similar questions going on right now. Is this a regime that is descending on a slippery slope into authoritarianism, thuggishness, and perhaps rogue behavior? And I think we’ve got to seriously ask that question. I think the time has come for us to stand up and show some leadership on this issue.”

He added that the U.S. does need Saudi Arabia as an ally, but that doesn’t mean “they have a blank check.”

Wallace brought up concerns about “the shallowness of the Trump administration’s relationship with the kingdom.” Jordan said the crown prince feels he’s “been given a green light to engage in any kind of behavior in the region that he wants, especially in stifling dissent.”

He added that it would be a big mistake for Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin to attend a Saudi conference that many have already withdrawn from.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac